Cosplayers of the Arab World

Meet the Arab Cosplaying community at MEFCC and find out why dressing up in character helps you be yourself

Spiderman and Deadpool cosplayers ar MEFCC 2019. Photo: Supplied

By Maán Jalal

Culture 21 April 2019

Middle East Film Comic Con (MEFCC) 2019 is the biggest event of it’s kind in the region.

It’s an actual geek fest. As the largest and longest established Pop Culture event in the Middle East, MEFCC sees more than 45,000 visitors a year.

Held in April in Dubai, UAE, fans of all things fantasy, gaming, comics, movies, and super heroes gathered to congregate, celebrate and geek our.

From collectables, art work, special edition prints, memorabilia, special screenings, celebrity meet and greets, live shows, workshops, and panel discussions, MEFCC was literally packed with stuff you wouldn’t want to miss if you’re a member of geek nation.

But here’s what caught our attention at the biggest pop culture party imaginable in the Middle East. Cosplayers.

In case you didn’t know, Cosplay is performance art. Yes we are calling it art. Where participants physically transform themselves into characters from anime, cartoon, comic books, manga, live action films, TV shows and video games.

The term Cosplay was first coined in Japan in 1984. A country and decade where many amazing terms and social events were invented. The cosplay community has grown exponentially since then thanks to the popularity of Japanese media and gaming, events like Comic Con and more recently thanks to social media.

We were particularly interested to see how the cosplay community exists and is growing in the Arab world and what we found at MEFCC 2019 was surprising. People took cosplay seriously. Like super seriously.

Other than the make up, detailed costumes, character knowledge and the performance aspect, cosplay is really about making connections with like minded people. It’s about being part of a community that understands and sees you for who you are, even if you’re pretending to be someone else.

Check out our short Arabs in Cosplay documentary and let us know what you think.

Cosplayers of the Arab world at MEFCC

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